Weed Garden Update

There have been changes to the “Weed Garden”.
As always there is hope that the wild flowers will emerge once again; this year I’ve added two new members to the collection.
There are red raspberries, that may provide a treat for the aviary community ( there’s little or no hope that I will be able to harvest anything) and central to the garden is a knockout rose bush.
For those that are not aquanted with variety, know out roses are the “mutts” of the rose community. These roses are not entered in the horticultural shows, no one hopes to add their name to this flower; mildly scented there are no perfumes made from them.
These roses bloom nearly year-round and to those that take the time to look they are so pleasing.
This one bush, in the Weed Garden, this mutt is the living memorial to my dear, dear mutt: Duchess. I can work in the yard, take my morning coffee and visit and talk to her and no one thinks I not (too) mad.
Knockout roses can make one a little less lonely.
I have a thing for mutts (genetically speaking; I’m a mutt too).

Peace out, pilgrims

Another Treasure From The Family Jewels

Many friends are confronted with things they don’t understand, don’t want to understand but they worry a lot.

My Grandfather (Grampy in this case Grampy Vogt) once found me hiding from something and asked if I was worried about it, “Yes.”

“Mikey” (there is only one other person that has called me that and lived), there are only two things to worry about: if you’re sick or if you’re well.

“If you’re well, you got nothin to worry about.  If you’re sick; you got just two things to worry about: you gonna get better or you’re gonna get worse.

“Now if you’re gonna get better, you got nothin to worry about.  If you’re gonna worse, you got two things to worry about.  Are you gonna live or are you gonna die.If you’re gonna live, you got nothin to worry about.  If you’re gonna die, you got two things to worry about; goin to  heaven or goin to hell.

“If you’re goin to heaven, you got nothin to worry about.  If you’re goin to hell, you’re gonna be to busy meeting the more interesting members of the family to worry.

“So, Mikey (same threat), you got nothin to worry about.”

 

peace out, pilgrim…be well and know that you are well loved.

A Touch of Humor (an old joke)

Bob had finally retired and was looking forward to spending more time with Phyllis, his wife of thirty years.

This extra time with Phyllis made him aware of things that he had, regrettably, missed during all those years when he was  paying more attention to the wants and needs of others; and some things concerned him.  He went to visit his long standing friend, fishing buddy and family physician, Ed.

“Ed, I’m worried about Phyllis, I know she has a serious hearing problem.  Is there a way I can discretely test her, at home, to gauge the  extent of her problem?”

“Well, when she’s in another room, ask her a question; if she doesn’t respond, step about ten feet closer and ask the same question.  Again, if she doesn’t answer, step another ten feet closer and ask the question.”

“Great, I’ll do it tonight…and we need to go after those strippers next month,” and with that Ed, assured he had his answer and could confront Phyllis with empirical evidence of her shortcoming.

Later that afternoon, Phyllis was dusting in the dining room and Ed finished emptying the dishwasher when he asked, “What’s for dinner, hon?”  No answer.  Ed moved to the door between the kitchen and the dining room  and asked again, “What’s for dinner?”  Again no answer.  Ed stood beside his mate and again asked, “What’s for dinner?”

“For the third time, chicken.” 

First Morn

There is something really magical about spring in this part of Georgia.  The horse ranches have been driven out of the state by developers, but there are still the sheep.

To get to the store from where I live I have to drive by a sheep farm, and this is the time of birthing.

The SWMBO may send me out for a pint of 1/2 and 1/2 and that might take an hour or so.  Its hard to dive past the field and not stop to watch 15 or so little white dots pop up over the tall grass and disappear again to emerge at some other spot.

This morning, close to the fence where I had parked in a spot sheltered from the noise of the road by a fallen sycamore tree; a ewe was birthing twins.

The first of the lambs, a glistening white when cleaned, was stretching and kicking in just a moment and soon on his/her feet and loving the cool spring morning.

The second lamb emerged and before the ewe could clean him/her off the older twin was butting him/her.

I was close enough that I could see the face of the newest child, the expression, “Really, now, I have had a hell of a morning already.”

peace out

The Diamond In-The-Rough Family Jewel: Dad

Mallie Bleau Moore, Jr, Cdr. U.S.N. (ret.), (1919-1993)

There are so very many sides to this man, not all pleasant to look at.  He was undeniably…human and in many ways amazing.  I have five siblings, a fact he often bragged about; my three sisters and two younger brothers (one I met when he acted as ring bearer at Dad’s wedding…to his mother).

Dad had a habit of being out of the country when any of his children were born.  I started the tradition.  My mother and I lived with Mom and Grampy Vogt, in Scarsdale, which was to say, we were isolated from my of the world.

Dad was being transferred to Norfolk, VA after serving three years as part of the Occupation Forces in Japan, the most important thing was I was going to ride a train with my Dad.

Like most four year olds, I stood for the first few hours and demonstrating my rather precocious nature, I asked questions about everything.  Dad demonstrated his wisdom…he answered each and every one.

My first observation, upon seeing our Conductor (the first African American I had ever seen), “Daddy, look, there’s a chocolate man.”  To which he replied, “Yes sir, he’s chocolate, I’m vanilla, I’ve seen lemon men and even strawberry men.  All great flavors, just remember, son, they’re all men.”

I continued to pester him for another four hours.  Some how I knew that he had and would have marvelous gifts to share.Image 

The Major and Darcy Weaver, Chapter 3

“My eyes were closed tight, hands behind my back and by my reckoning; I jumped, maybe 6 inches high, over a twig.  That was about a minute ago.  I was waiting to land.  I slowly peeked at where I was going to end up; and through my now opened eyes, I looked at all the stars…where a hall was supposed to be.

“STARS, they were all around me; in front of, in back of me…” the Major turned to his left, tilted his head up, then down, spun left, then right,”…they were on top of, all around me, they were even under me, stars and nothing else.  What happened to the hall, the hall that was on the other side of the twig?

“What happened to my clothes, in the light of a gazillion stars I could see that I was no longer wearing my 49s sweat shirt and jeans anymore.  The pants I was wearing were of a of a woolen type, a deep brown like the wet bark of a tree, a ruffled front shirt with lace sleeves the color of morning fog, braces of the deepest purple, a coat the color of a deep water lake collar rising up to my ears sleeves rolled back and draping to mid-thigh.  I felt a little chill around my ankles and saw…the sneakers, an olive green with orange laces and no socks.

“It was then that I noticed the hat.  A scarlet hat of felt, yards and yards of felt.  Something was tickling my right ear, like a bug buzzing to close; I went to brush it away and discovered it was a feather.  The hat seemed to be growing feathers, long feathers, short feathers, straight feathers, bent feathers, when would it stop?  I reached to the top of the hat; it stopped.

“I was standing, floating; spinning it was hard to tell in that space.  There were explosions of colors going on all around me, colors I could never have imagined.  Then colors collapsed on themselves, and music was in the colors, thousands of beautiful songs played at my ear.  I was somewhere between the beginning and the end, here and there…and then I knew something else…I WAS FALLING!”

The Major grabbed the brim of the hat and with a look of panic on his face.

“From out of nowhere, there were clouds and water and very solid ground below me (I was sure it was below me this time) and  I was going to die.

“The wind was tearing at me as I fell faster and faster, it pulled most of the feathers from my oversized hat.  I twisted the hat on tighter…and I slowed down, I tilted the hat right, and I turned right, with the hat over my right ear, the few remaining feathers flopping in the breeze, I was floating (again).  Floating over a land that was nestled in the warmest corner of the calmest sea (and I had seen them all during my rapid decent).

“There were fields, filled with every kind of flower imaginable; there were patches of the deepest red, blues and green bunched tightly together; colors that in the breeze looked like waves on the sea.  It was a splendid, enormous, impossible patchwork quilt.”

The Major extended his arm, with his hand open he gestured in a wave like fashion from corner to corner of the field he was in.

“laid upon the ground for a giant’s picnic.

“The splendor that was flowery field was dwarfed by the forest bordering it.  Populated by trees of stupendous proportions, with bases bigger than houses, trunks and branches rising so high above they separated the clouds like foam on the shore wraps around a stone.

With a look of delight and voice almost a whisper, he said:

“Why this could have been a model for the Garden of Paradise.”

“It was then that I noticed that I was once more falling, not as far or as fast, but FALLING.  In great haste I twisted my hat, tried pulling it over both ears and then my eyes and was just about to scream…when I stopped, I landed.”

“’It took you long enough…just had to gawk.’ Charly said.  ‘Pull that thing off your eyes and lets us take a stroll.’

“’Well, Master Quickstep, what do you see?’

The Major tilted his head up as he spoke, shifting his gaze as if talking to a much taller person.

The Major stood silent for a moment, he slowly turned his head from left to right, his mouth opened his eyes grew wide as he said,

“Beautiful…colors, flowers, trees and grasses…beauty…sir”

“’Charly,’

The Major’s head tilted up and left,

‘Come, into the Wood.’ The Major said in a voice deep and pleasant.

“As small as Charly was he moved very very quickly and it was a struggle to keep up and as I started to break into a run, he stopped, turned and faced me, fists on hips he looked at me.  I was going to run him over or if by some miracle I could stop my feet from moving I was going to fall face first into the mossy ground or on top of Charly.  My olive green sneakers (with the orange laces) held their ground as if glued to the forest floor, my woolen trousers grew ridged and it was the very purple braces that kept me from flying out of those same trousers as I waved back and forth like slinky on an incline.

“’Are you always this slow?  Why ever do they call you, ‘Quickstep?’  Charly stood in a one of the scattered shafts of light that made their way thru the dense canopy above.  Charly gestured toward the ground around him, as if on cue a breeze shifted the trees and the pin points of light danced through the forest.  ‘What do you see?’ he asked.

The dancing lights showed the brilliant greens of the ferns, the tans and greys of clusters of mushrooms, discarded branches and leaves, a rabbit, squirrel and the damp moss floor.  I mentioned all that I saw, overwhelmed by the balance, the perfection of it all.

“Charly laughed more of a chuckle as he led us, (at a more leisurely pace) from the heart of the Great Wood back into the sunlight.  ‘Take that thing off your ears and listen.’”

The Major pulled the hat off of his ears and set it high on his brow so that it draped like a head dress and tilted his head as if listened to a distant voice,

“I listened and listened and then I began to hear them; all the voices, some were grumbling, some were unkind, some frantic and none were happy.

“All of the flowers seemed to be…well vain.  This is what I heard  ‘I have the true red’ said one red rose; and ‘Only I have grand stance’ said the iris.  Among each and every flower boasting of its splendor; there was unhappiness, for it seemed that flowers have the very softest of voices.  You doubt me, hold your ear as close as you might to any flower any flower you chose and tell me what you hear.

“So brag as they might, they couldn’t be heard by even their nearest of neighbors.

“Now they did have guests that stopped by I saw; the oh so busy bees, butterflies and the occasional aphid.

“The bees arrived in a flurry of rapid movements and even more rapid talk.  ‘The buzzzz queen said buzzzz buzz and buzz, gather-buzzz-ing buzz buzz, and buzz.  Good-buzzz.’ The poor soft spoken flowers couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

“The butterflies arrived and sipped a cup of dew off the flower’s leaves and gracefully danced across the colorful flower petal and listened to all the poor vain flowers had to say about themselves.  And they listened and listened and listened…a never said a word.  One daffodil referred to it as ‘…talking to a rock.  It would be so nice if once they would agree with how beautiful I am.’

“When the aphids arrived and they often did; they never listened, rarely spoke, except to say, ‘Very tasty.’  A complement the poor flowers really didn’t relish.

I listened as a Wisteria vine, wrapped around the branch of monarch of a fir tree shouted as loud as it could; of all the woes of the flowers, into the tree’s ear.”

The Major pulled himself up as tall and straight as he could and in the most commanding voice he could muster.

“You think flowers have problems.”  The tree’s voice boomed over the top of all the meadow, through every path in the wood and out to the sea; “I stand as tall as a mountain and as strong and all I do is support a nest of birds, be a playground for a family of squirrels.  A waste, just a waste.” And the tree’s voice trailed off, his eyes closed and he seemed to drift off to sleep.  But the same lament was echoed by every other tree in the wood.  Then the trees once more stood tall, ridged and silent.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving in the wood.  It rustled a few leaves, had no voice of its own…and then I saw it clearly…a little dust devil.  As it twisted and darted its path through the deep wood; it was drawing ever closer to the sun lit meadow and it was carrying something, something very small.

The Major and Darcy Weaver, Chapter 2

The Major walked to center stage and looking at his audience, more people than he would have imagined, his gaze fell on the eleven extraordinary people in the front row unconsciously bowing to them before he began.

In a voice with more bravado than uncertainty “Good afternoon all, I am Stephen P. Quickstep, simple teller of tales, at your service.” Well, I’m off to a start if not a good one, he thought.

Lowering his head he brought his right hand up to his chin, as if to stroke a beard or lost in thought.   Then in a wink, lifting his eyes to the gathering, “Do you believe Faeries, Pixies and Elves, you know the Dawn Folk?”  Before anyone could answer, with a wave of his hand as if brushing them aside, “No matter, most of the Dawn Folk that I have encountered don’t believe in people, they know we’re just tales they tell their children at night.”  Some of the audience chuckled.

“This story began with a knock on my door, a rather loud knock.  Expecting a person of considerable size to be calling, using the standard inverse ratio of sound to height…this sounded something like a battering ram) you can understand my surprise when before me was a very small man (with solid knuckles).  He stood about”…the Major stopped from indicating with his hand the height of his visitor; and drew on a more tangible reference.., “not much taller than the door knob.  The hair on his head and the hair of his beard were the color of flames and seemed to give off heat when you got too close to him.  His clothes seemed out of place, if not out of time.  But it was his smile that my eyes were drawn to first and in all the time that we would be together, that smile never faded, not for a moment.”

“It was in November that Charly (that was his I name I came to find out) came to visit.  Had it been December, I would have thought that Santa had sent a messenger, by way of an elf;  but this message wasn’t from Santa.”  The Major stood as if talking to someone on his right, he turned his head back to the listeners

“‘Stephen…’ Charly said.

“You know my name?’

…of course, Stephen P. (and I know about your grandfather’s quip) Quickstep.’

“How could you know about the P?  No one knows about the P?  I said in disbelief.

“‘Please, knowing names is easy…comes natural, but I know some things that you NEED to know…to set the record straight, as it were.  Histories…real ancient histories, histories that go so far back that they’re remembered only by the sun and the sea.’

“The sun and the sea you say…like in an adventure.  I was skeptical.

“‘Yup, you could say an adventure; but do you have the courage to go on that adventure?’  Charly waited a moment, ‘I got me a simple test of courage, right here.’  He reached into the outside right pocket of his forest green coat and pulled out a twig, a little twig with four small leaves clinging tightly to it.”  The Major squatted low and placed his hand in his pocket and slowly removed it holding a twig that was only seen in the mind’s eye.

“That’s your test, your test of courage?

‘Yup.’

“How does that work, this test, the twig will shiver and point at me if I’m worthy?

“‘Nope.’  He said as he bent over and placed the twig on the threshold of my front door, with his hand still on the twig, he looked up at me and said, ‘You’ll have to jump over the twig.  With your eyes closed.  Hands behind your back!  If you’ve the courage.’

“I quickly calculated my chance for serious bodily injury, they were close to nil.  I closed my eyes put my hands behind my back and jumped.”